“Health care issues seem so big these days.’’
So started an editorial a few months ago.
“There are huge, and hugely expensive federal and state programs to pay for care.
“There are plans for local facilities that require state review and permits.
“So, when a health story comes along that is down to earth and user-friendly, we take notice.’’
We referred to the Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County launching a campaign for family fundamentals such as the right balance of sleep, exercise, diet and less TV, computers, sugary drinks and tobacco.
“Though the campaign aims to reach children starting at age 4 or 5,’’ our editorial said, “it also wants to reach entire families, as a grandparent adopting the good habits can have an effect on grandchildren.’’
Now along comes Dr. Allen Weiss.
The president and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System wants to supersize that.
He is ready to use the NCH bully pulpit to launch a communitywide health education campaign that he acknowledges could take a decade or more.
At last — someone qualified to speak with authority and commitment to what Jimmy Buffett would call the bank of bad habits in daily practice by so many people who know better. At last — someone to stand up to the barrage of advertising for food and lifestyle habits that we know are bad for us. At last — a voice of conscience for the community.
Is there something in this for NCH? Sure. But, so what? There is something in it for everyone — including Physicians Regional Hospitals and Lee Memorial Health System. There is enough work to go around and they ought to be invited in as partners.
The move is consistent with Dr. Weiss’ take on keeping health care costs as low as possible. Yet, being and staying healthy — largely within our own grasp — is something anyone can talk about. Dr. Weiss is actually doing something about it.
“This means collaborating with community leaders on the educational resources to motivate everyone from private citizens of all ages to employers of all sizes to improve our collective and individual quality of life,’’ he says in his latest NCH newsletter. “A major emphasis would be accelerating our focus on fighting obesity, diabetes and smoking by enhancing an already-attractive environment for year-round outdoor activities.
“Creating more walking paths, placing calorie counts on restaurant menus, and forbidding smoking in public are just a few methods that have worked elsewhere, and might be implemented here.
“Collier County was just ranked by Gallup as the fifth least obese area in America. In Collier County, women enjoy the longest life expectancy in our nation and men the second longest. Collier has an extremely low cardiac mortality. So in terms of wellness, we might already rank in the top 10. That’s not good enough. We want to be number one in the nation.’’
In my view, some of those great grades are due to good health habits brought here by retirees. Building a culture of good habits from day one, as Dr. Weiss envisions, would plow new ground.
“I’m reminded of the phrase, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago,’’’ Dr. Weiss says. “‘The next best time is now.’”
Dr. Weiss has better things to do than dream up more to do.
He is sticking his neck out to lead.
And for that, alone, he should be congratulated.
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Changes coming to the Daily News’ online services resonate with a changing scene for cable.
Comcast now has plenty of competition beyond satellite dishes. Slowly yet surely, says Collier County Presidents Council leader Paul Feuer, the picture has sharpened.
He offers this lineup of alternate, bundled TV/phone/Internet service providers: Litestream is in Carlton Lakes; NuVu, a subsidiary of Marco Island Cable, is in the Vineyards, Bridgewater Bay, Countryside and Barefoot Beach; Hotwire is in Old Cypress; and BroadStar is in Huntingdon Lakes.
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A letter to the editor by Chris Carter the other day complained of a “parking ticket scam being perpetrated by the city of Naples at Broad Avenue South,’’ a block north of the Naples Pier.
He said the city had changed part of the parallel parking to a no-parking zone, to allow neighbors room to pull out of a driveway. “Instead of putting diagonal ‘no parking’ lines or even a ‘no parking’ sign, the city simply marked the spaces exactly as before,’’ Carter wrote, “but changed the color of the parking border from white to yellow — hardly distinguishable, especially if you park there after dark.’’
Here is a photo made by Carter to drive home his point.
See the yellowish lines?